Confucius said: “A leader is proud without being contentious and sociable without taking sides.”
子曰:「君子矜而不爭,群而不黨。」

There is no need to get embroiled in bitter arguments with other people. When discussions take a darker turn, simply walk away. Even though it may appear to some that you have “lost”, the truth…

Confucius said: “A person can enrich the way; the way cannot enrich a person.”
子曰:「人能弘道,非道弘人。」

No matter what path you chose to follow, you will only get as much out of it as you put into it. The only way you can truly learn and improve yourself is through action…

Read this new English translation of the Analects of Confucius Book 2 to learn more about the teachings of China’s most famous philosopher. Its main themes include leadership, filial devotion, learning, thinking, and trust.

Chapter 1
子曰:「為政以德,譬如北辰,居其所而眾星共之。」
Confucius said: “Governing by the power of virtue can be compared to the Pole Star…

Confucius said: “When everyone hates someone, you should investigate that person further. When everyone loves someone, you should investigate that person further.”
子曰:「眾惡之,必察焉;眾好之,必察焉。」

Beware of the wisdom of the crowd. Just because someone is extremely popular, it does not necessarily mean that they can do no wrong; and just because…

Confucius said: “Smooth talk confounds virtue. Impatience in small matters confounds great plans.”
子曰:「巧言亂德,小不忍則亂大謀。」

Words can obscure as much as they can enlighten. Pay close attention not just to what people say but how they say it. Observing their facial expressions and hand movements can give you vital clues about…

Confucius said: “Even when I was young scribes would leave a blank space if they were unsure of what to write and people who owned horses would lend them to others to ride. Nowadays such practices have disappeared.”
子曰:「吾猶及史之闕文也。有馬者,借人乘之,今亡已夫!」

Don’t be embarrassed to ask people for help if you do…

Confucius said: “When it comes to other people, I don’t usually praise or condemn them. If I praise anyone, it is only after they have been put to the test. It is because all the people acted in this way that the Three Dynasties kept to the straight path.”
子曰:「吾之於人也,誰毀誰譽?如有所譽者,其有所試矣。斯民也,三代之所以直道而行也。」

Zigong asked: “Is there one single word that can guide you through your entire life?” Confucius said: “Should it not be reciprocity? Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”
子貢問曰:「有一言而可以終身行之者乎?」子曰:「其怒乎!己所不欲,勿施於人。」

Never treat people in ways that you would not wish to be treated. This…

Confucius said: “A leader doesn’t promote someone simply because of what they say, nor does a leader dismiss what is said because of the person who said it.”
子曰:「君子不以言舉人,不以人廢言。」

Never rush to judgment. Just because someone catches your attention with something that they say should not mean that you automatically…

Confucius said: “A leader makes demands on themself; a petty person makes demands on others.”
子曰:「君子求諸己,小人求諸人。」

When something goes wrong, resist the temptation to blame others for the failure. While they may have made mistakes, you need to reflect first on how you could have handled the issue more effectively…

Richard Brown

I live in Taiwan and am interested in exploring what ancient Chinese philosophy can tell us about technology and the rise of modern China.

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